By Bob Hertzel
For the Times West Virginian
It was a banner day for West Virginia University in the Major League Baseball Draft Saturday as four more players were selected, easing the memory of the colossal collapse down the stretch that kept the team out of the NCAA Tournament while tying the school record for most players drafted with six.
Six West Virginia University baseball players were also selected in the 2001 draft, including 11th-rounder Shane Rhodes by the Boston Red Sox. Three times the Mountaineers saw four players get drafted, most recently in 2013. Three of the four chose to return to school.
Also picked on Saturday were two members of WVU’s recruiting class for next season. Junior left-hander Greg Maisto of McLennan Community College was chosen by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 16th round with the 487th pick, and incoming freshman left-hander Caleb Ferguson was chosen by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 1149th pick in the 38th round.
Picked on Saturday was left-handed pitcher John Means by Baltimore in the 11th round with the 331st pick, pitcher Sean Carley by the New York Yankees in the 14th round with the 421st pick, power-hitting first baseman Ryan McBroom by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 444th pick in the 15th round and pitcher Corey Walter, who went to the Oakland A’s in the 28th round with the 852nd selection.
On Friday, outfielder Bobby Boyd was the first Mountaineer selected by Houston followed shortly by left-handed pitcher Harrison Musgrave by Colorado. Both players were eighth-round picks, Boyd at No. 226 with Musgrave at No. 233.
The underclassmen – McBroom and Walter are the only seniors — have until Friday, July 18th, to decide whether they wish to pursue professional careers or return to WVU.
Musgrave and Boyd have already indicated they are planning to sign and begin their professional careers.
Means was West Virginia’s No. 3 starter and gave the Mountaineers a solid season, finishing with a 6-2 record and a 3.13 earned run average.
“I’m very proud to stand alongside the other guys picked to represent WVU at the next level,” Means said in a statement released by the school. “Also, I would like to thank all of the coaches and West Virginia University.”
Carley had a strange season. He opened as the No. 2 starter in the rotation but when the bullpen faltered and cost WVU a number of games, coach Randy Mazey opted to move him into the closer’s role where his 90-plus fastball could be a huge asset.
He finished the season with a 5-3 record and four saves.
“I’m ecstatic and honored to join such a storied program as the Yankees. It’s a surreal feeling right now for my family and I. I guess I have to cut the mullet and goatee now!” said Carley, who was known for his mullet and goatee as well as his fastball.
McBroom was WVU’s main power threat, leading the team with eight home runs and 49 runs batted in while batting .341.
“This is a lifelong dream,” McBroom admitted.
“I just want to thank everyone for the unbelievable opportunity, especially the Blue Jays,” McBroom said. “I’m excited to get this thing going.”
The drafting of Walter came as something of a surprise, considering he suffered through a down season with a 1-6 record and 5.01 ERA while giving up more hits than innings pitched and walking as many batters as he struck out.
Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.